By Allison Skornick-Rose
Jun 12, 2019 02:58 PM EST

Men in Black: International Theatrical Review

Hemsworth plays his part well and is actually much of the “comic” relief in this film along with a cute chess piece Molly names Pawny voiced by Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick).

Men in Black: International Theatrical Review
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Do you believe aliens live amongst us here on earth,…hiding in plain sight?  Are you one of those individuals who is fascinated by conspiracy theories? Do you think our government is hiding secret agencies who go around "erasing" the evidence of aliens?  Well, then you know the premise of the MIB movie franchise that began with Will Smith (Aladdin) and Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) back in 1997.  This summer the fourth installment, Men In Black: International, heads to theaters to once again keep us all safe from galactic destruction.

Molly (Tessa Thompson; Creed) was a little girl when an alien visited her home and she watched as her parents' memories were neutralized.  Molly, who was always fascinated with space, grew up searching for the elusive Men In Black.  After trying the FBI, the CIA and various other agencies she finally finds them and pleads her case to become one of them.  After testing very high in every area, Agent O (Emma Thompson; Love Actually) gives "M" a trial run as a probationary agent and sends her to London to investigate a possible threat.  There she meets High T (Liam Neeson; Taken) who oversees the European operation and Agent H (Chris Hemsworth; Thor), a cocky showoff who is one of London's best agents. 

Overzealous and eager to learn, Agent M offers to help Agent H with his security detail of an alien prince, Vengus.  Unfortunately, the prince is murdered while in their care but not before giving Agent M a small object begging her to protect it at all costs.  The object turns out to be an important weapon that is sought by other aliens (Les Twins – Larry and Laurent Bourgeois) who will do anything in their power to get it. Agents H and M find themselves on a dangerous game of cat and mouse while things seem to be amiss at headquarters; another mystery the Agents try to solve as they run for their lives.

Hemsworth plays his part well and is actually much of the "comic" relief in this film along with a cute chess piece Molly names Pawny voiced by Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick).  Tessa is good as the eager rookie but unfortunately, unlike in Thor: Ragnarok, she and Hemsworth lack chemistry making their partnership painful to watch.  While Smith and Jones had a playful, snarky banter to their dialogue, these two do not.  Perhaps part of the problem is the script but regardless they couldn't pull it together to make the movie entertaining.

The graphics are well done but over the top at times, making them even more exaggerated than they need be.  Director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job), taking over the reins from Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family), seems out of his element here and the film suffers for it.  There is nothing that keeps the audience's interest as the actors slog through their lines and the action sequences.

In this instance, MIB must stand for "movie is boring" because that is exactly what it was. There was very little (other than perhaps the minors scenes including the brilliant Emma Thompson) to keep me invested in the story or these characters.  Even Rebecca Ferguson (The Greatest Showman) as an alien arms dealer with literally multiple arms could not salvage the film.  

The first Men in Black movie was fresh, new, entertaining and well done and the second and third installments, while not as strong, still kept elements of the original intact making for a solid set of films.  Men In Black: International goes off the rails with a dull script and actors who, based on past history, should mesh well on screen but simply don't.

Grade: C-
 

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Certificate: 12A
Running Time: 115 minutes
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures

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